- Montana, USA -
On Thursday, November 12, 46-year-old FRANK MATTHEW RODRIGUEZ (pictured below), appeared in Missoula Justice Court and was charged with two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on November 9, officer Canyon McKinstry responded to a call after officer Syrjala and officer Russell advised emergency dispatchers that they were investigating an animal cruelty case in a trailer home in the 1700 block of Cooley Street.
An unnamed woman told officers that her two daughters had received on their cell phones pictures from their dad, RODRIGUEZ.
The gruesome pictures showed two dead kittens inside a white trash can and one furbaby appeared to have been torn in half.
When officer Nathan Champa and officer McKinstry knocked on the trailer, they questioned RODRIGUEZ about the pictures.
RODRIGUEZ told officers he had two dead baby cats in his home and claimed that one had died over night, and the other one was close to dying and eventually did.
RODRIGUEZ also claimed that a third kitten in the home, started to eat one of the kittens’ head.
Officer McKinstry asked RODRIGUEZ why he sent the pictures to his daughters and he responded that he did it because his daughters did not believe the kittens were dead.
RODRIGUEZ then took officer Champa into the living room of the trailer and pointed at a white trash can that did not have a lid so that content was visible to the officer.
Inside there were feces, rotten food, numerous beer cans, and the dead furbabies.
At that point officers took the trash can out of the trailer and emptied it out.
Officers took pictures of the deceased kittens.
One kitten looked as if he had been torn apart with his insides no longer intact.
The other kitten had his head cut clean off among other injuries.
The neck of the cat had an extremely smooth cut all the way through, which was most likely done by a sharp cutting instrument.
Officer McKinstry asked the Animal Control Officers on the scene if the wounds could have been done by another cat and they responded with a definite “no way” the injuries were from a kitten.
They said the injuries were most likely from a knife.
Officer McKinstry told RODRIGUEZ he was under arrest for aggravated cruelty to animals.
RODRIGUEZ was then transported to the Missoula County Jail where officer McKinstry seized his phone.
A necropsy will be performed on the two dead kittens to determine their cause of death.
Animal Control removed two more adult cats, one other kitten, a dog, and a ball python.
The live kitten was extremely skinny and appeared malnourished.
The dog appeared to be fed but had toenails that appeared to have not been trimmed in a long time.